Participants compete in a dragon boat race as part of celebrations marking the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, held throughout Hong Kong, Friday, June 7, 2019. Dragon boat races are in remembrance of Chu Yuan, an ancient Chinese scholar-statesman, who drowned in 277 B.C. while denouncing government corruption. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Chinese take to the seas in annual dragon boat races

June 07, 2019 - 5:20 am

HONG KONG (AP) — People in China and several other parts of Asia are competing in annual dragon boat races, a tradition with roots dating back more than 2,000 years.

The dragon boats are built in the shape of war canoes and ornately carved and painted with dragon heads and tails. The largest boats are up to 12 meters (39 feet) long and carry a crew of 46 paddlers.

In Hong Kong, competitors took part in the races Friday in Aberdeen Harbor. Accompanied by the beat of the drums, the boats raced against each other to the finish line, where the winner received a victory flag.

Competing teams used their paddles to splash water at each other, a way to share good fortune.

In Taiwan, dozens of teams took part in races in Taipei.

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